Design and Demonstration of New Single-Well Tracer Test for Viscous Chemical Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Fluids
- Robert Fortenberry (Ultimate EOR Services) | Pearson Suniga (Ultimate EOR Services) | Mojdeh Delshad (Ultimate EORServices) | Bharat Singh (Kuwait Oil Company) | Hassan A. AlKaaoud (Kuwait Oil Company) | Charlie T. Carlisle (Chemical Tracers Incorporated) | Gary A. Pope (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- August 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,075 - 1,085
- 2016.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Simulation , Single well tracer test, Carbonate, ASP, EOR
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 487 since 2007
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Single-well-partitioning-tracer tests (SWTTs) are used to measure the saturation of oil or water near a wellbore. If used before and after injection of enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) fluids, they can evaluate EOR flood performance in a so-called one-spot pilot. Four alkaline/surfactant/polymer (ASP) one-spot pilots were recently completed in Kuwait’s Sabriyah-Mauddud (SAMA) reservoir, a thick, heterogeneous carbonate operated by Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). UTCHEM (Delshad et al. 2013), the University of Texas chemical-flooding reservoir simulator, was used to interpret results of two of these one-spot pilots performed in an unconfined zone within the thick SAMA formation. These simulations were used to design a new method for injecting partitioning tracers for one-spot pilots. The recommended practice is to inject the tracers into a relatively uniform confined zone, but, as seen in this work, that is not always possible, so an alternative design was needed to improve the accuracy of the test.
The simulations showed that there was a flow-conformance problem when the partitioning tracers were injected into a perforated zone without confinement after the viscous ASP and polymer-drive solutions. The water-conveyed-tracer solutions were being partially diverted outside of the ASP-swept zone where they contacted unswept oil. Because of this problem, the initial interpretation of the performance of the chemicals was pessimistic, overestimating the chemical residual oil saturation (ROS) by up to 12 saturation units. Additional simulations indicated that the oil saturation in the ASP-swept zone could be properly estimated by avoiding the post-ASP waterflood and injecting the post-ASP tracers in a viscous polymer solution rather than in water. An ASP one-spot pilot using the new SWTT design resulted in an estimated ROS of only 0.06 after injection of chemicals (Carlisle et al. 2014). These saturation values were obtained by history matching tracer-production data by use of both traditional continuously-stirred-tank (CSTR) models and compositional, reactive-transport reservoir models.
The ability of the simulator to model every phase of the one-spot pilot operation was crucial to the insight of modified SWTT design. The waterflood, first SWTT, ASP flood, and the final SWTT were simulated using a heterogeneous permeability field representative of the Mauddud formation. Laboratory data, field-ASP quality-control information, and injection strategy were all accounted for in these simulations. We describe the models, how they were used, and how the results were used to modify the SWTT design. We further discuss the implications for other SWTTs.
The advantage of mechanistic simulation of multiple aspects of a one-spot pilot is an important theme of this study. Because the pore space investigated by the SWTTs can be affected by the previously injected EOR fluids (and vice versa), these interactions should be accounted for. This simulation approach can be used to identify and mitigate design problems during each phase of a challenging one-spot pilot.
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